Big Weekend Might Allow Smith To Capture Rookie Points Lead Lowe's Motor Speedway Race A Key With Just Two Events Remaining AUSTIN, TX (October 11, 2004) -- Casey Smith is gunning for nothing less than a win when the ASA National Tour makes its...
Big Weekend Might Allow Smith To Capture Rookie Points Lead
Lowe's Motor Speedway Race A Key With Just Two Events Remaining
AUSTIN, TX (October 11, 2004) -- Casey Smith is gunning for nothing less than a win when the ASA National Tour makes its first stop at the legendary Lowe's Motor Speedway this coming Thursday (October 14). And winning at LMS is something that Casey has done before. At the rate the 19-year-old ASA Rookie is going, he'll probably have many more career starts, and even a few more victories, at the track in his promising future.
With just two events remaining in his rookie season of ASA competition, Casey hopes to make up ground in the tight Rookie of the Year battle with a solid performance in the Aaron's 99. A strong run at Kentucky Speedway showed that both he and his team are ready to perform on the big tracks of ASA.
"I'm really looking forward to this race," said Smith, who sits just 64 points out of the top rookie spot. "We really surprised a lot of people at Kentucky and I think we can do it again. It won't be a surprise for us because I know we can compete. We've got some work to do to catch up with the top few guys (here at LMS), but we are a solid top-10 car right now. We have to run a perfect race though to get back in the rookie points battle. Kentucky really helped us, but we've got a little more work to do. It is going to be exciting. And hey, this is Charlotte. This is a big race for all of us. So it will be a tough one I think."
Smith has competed and won on the grounds of the track. Smith's win at LMS came in back 2000, but it wasn't on the 1.5 mile oval. The victory that day came came in a Legends car, earning him the Asphalt National "Pro Division" championship.
When Smith moved over to the big track last week for his first test in an ASA car at LMS, he took to it like a fish to water. He was able to fine tune his #19 car to a comfortable setting on a not-so-comfortable track.
"It has been a real wild day," said Smith following his test. "I told the guys that even though we have 15 minutes still to go and we could make some more changes, we're pretty proud with what we got so we just need to load the thing up. We've been fighting the bumps all day long as everyone has. We finally got the car to where we are not quite as loose over them. I'll got back and see how much more clearance I got."
Despite being the same size track as Kentucky Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway (GA), the LMS oval required a unique set-up for the #19 car due to its rough surface. Casey was helped to achieve that setup through the guidance came from a few of the most experienced ASA mechanics in recent history.
"It is like a washboard out there," said Smith. "We came here with a setup that you'd run at Atlanta. We weren't even close and we needed to work on it.
"Joe Shear Jr. came over today and helped me out a bunch. I have to thank him for that. I also have to thank Gene Roberts. He's been helping me out as well. I think we've got a good race car."
The ASA National Tour's Aaron's 99 takes place Thursday night at the Lowe's Motor Speedway. The race is scheduled to start at 8:45pm, following the running of NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series qualifying.